April 29, 2017
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Calcium Disodium Versenate

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Calcium Disodium Versenate




General Precautions

Edetate calcium disodium may produce the same renal damage as lead poisoning, such as proteinuria and microscopic hematuria. Treatment-induced nephrotoxicity is dose-dependent and may be reduced by assuring adequate diuresis before therapy begins. Urine flow must be monitored throughout therapy which must be stopped if anuria or severe oliguria develop. The proximal tubule hydropic degeneration usually recovers upon cessation of therapy. Edetate calcium disodium must be used in reduced doses in patients with pre-existing mild renal disease.

Patients should be monitored for cardiac rhythm irregularities and other ECG changes during intravenous therapy.

Laboratory tests

Urinalysis and urine sediment, renal and hepatic function and serum electrolyte< levels should be checked before each course of therapy and then be monitored daily during therapy in severe cases, and in less serious cases after the second and fifth day of therapy. Therapy must be discontinued at the first sign of renal toxicity. The presence of large renal epithelial cells or increasing number of red blood cells in urinary sediment or greater proteinuria call for immediate stopping of edetate calcium disodium administration. Alkaline phosphatase values are frequently depressed (possibly due to decreased serum zinc levels), but return to normal within 48 hours after cessation of therapy. Elevated erythrocyte protoporphyrin levels ( > 35 mcg/dl of whole blood) indicate the need to perform a venous blood lead determination. If the whole blood lead concentration is between 25-55 mcg/dl a mobilization test can be considered.7,8 (See Diagnostic Test.) An elevation of urinary coproporphyrin (adults: > 250 mcg/day; pediatric patients under 80 lbs: > 75 mcg/day) and elevation of urinary delta aminolevulinic acid (ALA) (adults: > 4 mg/day; pediatric patients: > 3 mg/m2/day) are associated with blood lead levels > 40 mcg/dl. Urinary coproporphyrin may be falsely negative in terminal patients and in severely iron-depleted pediatric patients who are not regenerating heme.9 In growing pediatric patients long bone x-rays showing lead lines and abdominal x-rays showing radio-opaque material in the abdomen may be of help in estimating the level of exposure to lead.

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

Long term animal studies have not been conducted with edetate calcium disodium to evaluate its carcinogenic potential, mutagenic potential or its effect on fertility.


Category B: One reproduction study was performed in rats at doses up to 13 times the human dose and revealed no evidence of impaired fertility or harm to the fetus due to Calcium Disodium Versenate (edetate calcium disodium injection) .10 Another reproduction study performed in rats at doses up to about 25 to 40 times the human dose revealed evidence of fetal malformations due to Calcium Disodium Versenate, which were prevented by simultaneous supplementation of dietary zinc.11 There are, however, no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, this drug should be used during pregnancy only if clearly needed.

Labor and Delivery

Calcium Disodium Versenate (edetate calcium disodium injection) has no recognized use during labor and delivery, and its effects during these processes are unknown.

Nursing Mothers

It is not known whether this drug is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when Calcium Disodium Versenate is administered to a nursing woman.

Pediatric Use

Since lead poisoning occurs in pediatric populations and adults but is frequently more severe in pediatric patients, Calcium Disodium Versenate (edetate calcium disodium injection) is used in patients of all ages. The intramuscular route is preferred by some for young pediatric patients. In cases where the intravenous route is necessary, avoid rapid infusion. (See WARNINGS.) Urine flow must be monitored throughout therapy; Calcium Disodium Versenate (edetate calcium disodium injection) therapy must be stopped if anuria or severe oliguria develops. (See General Precautions.) At no time should the recommended daily dosage be exceeded. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.)


7. Drug Evaluations, 6th Edition, American Medical Association, Saunders, Philadelphia, 1986, pp. 1637-1639.

8. Centers for Disease Control: Preventing lead poisoning in young children. Atlanta, GA, Department of Health and Human Services, 1985 Jan.

9. Finberg L, Rajagopal V. Diagnosis and treatment of lead poisoning in children. J Family Med 1985 April: 3-12.

10. Schardein JL, Sakowski R, Petrere J, et al. Teratogenesis studies with EDTA and its salts in rats. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 1981; 61:423-428.

11. Swenerton H, Hurley LS. Teratogenic effects of a chelating agent and their prevention by zinc. Science 1971; 173:62-64.

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 11/26/2008


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